On the road with Farm Radio International: Highlights from the Discover Tanzania tour

Learning Tour visits the Hanger

Discover Tanzania learning tour participants visit The Hangar to learn about the innovative ways that Farm Radio is combining radio and other technologies.

In February 2017, 14 Farm Radio supporters had the chance to go on the road with us as part of our first-ever learning tour to Tanzania.

The tour gave participants a unique opportunity to experience the country through the eyes and ears of Farm Radio International. It was led by Farm Radio’s executive director, Kevin Perkins, who spent a year working from Tanzania not so long ago and was excited to go back.

Participants got to know the Farm Radio team, met with individual farmers and a community listening group, watched rural radio stations in action, and visited an international agricultural research centre. They got their hands dirty on a farm, where they learned about beekeeping, coffee production, cheese making, and more. And they saw first-hand how radio and mobile phones are transforming lives for the better.

The tour showcased Tanzania’s natural beauty, flora, and fauna through a safari, visits to conservation areas, and a tour of the Olduvai Gorge.

No trip to Tanzania is complete without a few days’ rest and relaxation in Zanzibar. Participants spent a few days in the ancient coastal city of Stone Town, exploring its white, sandy beaches, narrow, winding streets, and spice markets. The trip was capped off with a visit to Dar es Salaam, where participants learned about Canada’s history of cooperation with Tanzania during a meeting with Ian Myles, Canada’s High Commissioner to Tanzania.

Take a walk in the learning tour participants’ shoes by checking out the Discover Tanzania album on Facebook.

They say that seeing is believing, and this was no exception. Exploring the rural countryside and talking with farmers, broadcasters, and other stakeholders was an eye-opening experience for tour participants, helping them understand the challenges that farmers face, as well as the resources and solutions that provide plenty of reason for hope.

Tour participant Thea de Groot had this to say about the tour:

“One of the highlights of the trip was the two-hour session with a women’s listening group. […] Farm Radio provided [the group] with a small solar radio and they would gather once a week to listen to the program and discuss together how to use that knowledge in their own farming efforts.”

When we were planning the trip, we hoped that participants would come back feeling even more enthusiastic about our work. When we asked them in a follow-up survey if they would recommend the tour to others, 100% of respondents said, “Definitely!”

The trip was such a success that we’re already planning the next one. The second Discover Tanzania tour will take place in late November or early December. Stay tuned!

The first learning tour sold out. If you want to be among the first to know about the next one, email discover@farmradio.org or call 613-761-3659.

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